Briton Toby Perry one of six new riders for Hagens Berman Axeon

Toby Perry winning the Championship of Aragon in 2021
Toby Perry winning the Championship of Aragon in 2021 (Image credit: Hagens Berman Axeon)

Hagens Berman Axeon have finalised its 13-rider 2022 roster with the addition of 21-year-old Briton Toby Perry. The development programme brings on a total of six new riders representing three continents, including a quintet of teenagers – Darren Rafferty, Jack Drage, Dries de Pooter, Iván Romeo and Kasper Andersen.

Returning riders on the US Continental team include fellow Briton Joseph Laverick, Diogo Barbosa of Portugal, Liam Holowesko of the Bahamas along with Americans Michael Garrison, Samuel Janisch, Simon Jones and Matthew Riccitello.

Perry had a breakout season this past year riding for Equipo La Tova-Asesoría Almudévar in Spain. He started his season with a second place at Trofeu Joan Escola and then scored his first road win at the Memorial Cirilo Zunzarren the next week in March. In May he won GP Vila-Real, then followed with the GC title at Vuelta a Alicante was among five additional victories he won in 2021.

While he also crossed the line first in the Valencia National Championships, he said it was "a little disappointing" to not claim the champion's jersey since he is not Spanish.

“Toby is a bit of a more seasoned rider that I hope will bring experience to our fairly young team. He’s shown that he is a very strong rider and seems to have found the formula to win, and proved it by winning a few races in Spain,” said Axel Merckx, team owner and director. 

“I believe he deserves an opportunity to show himself on the biggest stage and I hope we can give him that. At the same time, I look forward to him bringing some maturity and experience to help the young riders develop for the future.”

Perry began competing in cyclo-cross when he was 16 years old and transitioned to road cycling after high school. 

“Signing for Hagens Berman Axeon shows all my hard work over the last few years has paid off to be noticed by one of the top development teams,” said the Ashford, UK native. “I love a brutal race where the pressure is constant. I am looking forward to improving my ability to work with the team and to become a more well-rounded rider.”

Last week the team announced it would add 2021 Spanish junior national champion Romeo, an 18-year-old from Valladolid, Spain. Three other youngsters include Drage, the 2021 New Zealand U23 Road Race champion, Rafferty, a nine-time Irish junior national champion across four disciplines (road race, time trial, mountain, and cyclo-cross), and De Pooter, the 2020 Belgian junior road race national champion who raced briefly as a stagiaire for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert.

Nineteen-year-old Andersen, from Copenhagen, moves from Danish Continental team ColoQuick, where he was a double European junior champion in 2020 in the road race and on the track in the Madison. 

Riders graduating from the program after 2021 and confirmed on new teams for next season include Jarrad Drizners to Lotto Soudal, Sean Quinn to EF Education-Nippo, and Red Walters to Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling.

Hagens Berman Axeon 2022 roster

  • Kasper Andersen (Den)
  • Diogo Barbosa (Por)
  • Jack Drage (NZl)
  • Michael Garrison (USA)
  • Liam Holowesko (Bah)
  • Samuel Janisch (USA)
  • Simon Jones (USA)
  • Joseph Laverick (USA)
  • Toby Perry (GBr)
  • Dries de Pooter (Bel)
  • Darren Rafferty (Irl)
  • Matthew Riccitello (USA)
  • Iván Romeo (Spa)

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Jackie Tyson